Iron Man Already Proved The Illuminati Exists In The MCU’s Main Timeline

Warning! Spoilers ahead for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.,Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) long proved that the main
MCU timeline has its own Illuminati team.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness continued Doctor Strange’s (Benedict Cumberbatch) personal arc in the MCU after the Infinity Saga and his involvement in Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) identity issue in
Spider-Man: No Way Home. Aside from the sorcerer’s story, however, there was a lot to be excited about in
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, including the introduction of the superhero team, Illuminati, from the Marvel Comics.,The Sam Raimi-directed flick marked the first time that the Illuminati appeared on the big screen.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness‘ multiversal story allowed Marvel Studios to explore more existing universes in the franchise, including Earth-838. The alternate universe had a functioning Illuminati team that Supreme Strange assembled and was composed of Peggy Carter’s (Hayley Atwell) Captain Carter, Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor), and Maria Rambeau’s (Lashana Lynch) Captain Marvel, Black Bolt (Anson Mount), Mister Fantastic (John Krasinski), Professor X (Patrick Stewart). Unfortunately, before they could really make a mark in the MCU, they were fairly easily murdered by Scarlet Witch (Elizabeth Olsen).,Related: Doctor Strange 2: Who Is America Chavez? Powers & Origins Explained,The introduction of Doctor Strange’s Illuminati in Earth-838 has floated the idea that other MCU universes may also have their respective Illuminati teams, including Earth-616.
Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness writer Michael Waldron has claimed that he doesn’t think so, but Iron Man long proved that the main MCU timeline has its own Illuminati team. In
Iron Man 2, Tony Stark’s phone clearly has a folder named “Illuminati” in his phone. Since the MCU was still in its early stages at that point and Jon Favreau’s sequel from 2010 was focused on telling a different story, it was never fully delved into. But considering the fact that Iron Man was a significant member of the Illuminati in the Marvel Comics, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility that he was also involved in the MCU’s version of the team, hence the folder in his phone.,So, if the Illuminati does exist in the MCU Earth-616, how come they haven’t revealed themselves? The team may be operating in an extremely secret manner. Throughout the Infinity
 Saga, the information was never revisited as the franchise was busy with the overall threat brought by Thanos (Josh Brolin). Perhaps the MCU’s Iron Man Illuminati opts to function in the shadows to protect the group’s operation. On the other hand, it’s also no secret that Marvel Studios likes playing the long game, including certain Easter eggs that appear to be inconsequential but eventually turn up to be an important detail. The Illuminati folder in Iron Man’s phone can be one of those. This
Iron Man 2 detail is something that Marvel Studios can eventually use to establish their existence in Earth-616 in the future.
 ,Given the status of the franchise, there’s no rush to introduce the potential Earth-616 Illuminati anytime soon. Marvel Studios has a string of other characters that it can focus on — both old and new ones, not to mention those who are set to be debuted in the near future. Aside from that, giving the franchise’s eventual main Illuminati team some separation from
Doctor Strange 2’s multiversal Illuminati version also ensures that their return will have a bigger impact in the
MCU.
 ,More: Did Marvel Really Just Kill Off That Important Doctor Strange Character?